Health Emergency Information

Discussion in 'The South of the USA FAQ' started by trilingual, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. trilingual

    trilingual Marquess

    This is the place to post information about health emergency resources South of the U.S.A. If you have any information or recommendations, please post here.
  2. trilingual

    trilingual Marquess

    RE: Health Emergency Information - Rio

    Before you travel, check with your health insurance carrier to find out if you're covered abroad. Some U.S. insurers, like Blue Cross or Kaiser, do cover you when you're traveling. Others don't, so you may want to take out a travel health insurance policy before leaving the country. The same applies to non-U.S. travelers. You also may want to consider signing up for emergency medical evacuation insurance. Yours truly is covered by Medjet, at They offer a variety of plans, depending on how much you travel and how long you stay abroad. It's reasonable and provides a lot of peace of mind!

    In Rio, many people think the best bet for any non-emergency problems is the Rio Health Collective, Banco Nacional building (room 303), Av. das Américas 4430, Barra de Tijuca; a non-profit-making organization, its phone-in service (tel 021/3325-9300 ext. 44) is free, and provides names of qualified professionals who speak foreign languages. Of course, Barra is pretty far out for those staying in Copacabana, but the Health Collective should have names of physicians in Copacabana or Ipanema/Leblon that will be closer to where you're staying. Alternatively, your consulate should have a list of professionals who speak an appropriate language. The U.S. consulate in Rio has such a list available online, although it's a bit difficult to find. Go to, then select the consulate in Rio (or wherever you're located), then "U.S. Citizen Services", then "other services" and finally "list of hospitals/doctors."

    In case of an emergency, probably your best bet is to take a taxi directly to the Copa d'Or Hospital on r. Figueiredo Magalhães. It's considered one of the best private hospitals in Rio, it has emergency services, and it's closer than other hospitals you'll see listed.

    Hope you'll never need this information, but better safe than sorry!
  3. trilingual

    trilingual Marquess

    RE: Health Emergency Information - Buenos Aires

    See the previous posting on Rio for some discussion of insurance issues.

    If you get sick in Buenos Aires, you can ask your hotel if it has a doctor available on call. Usually they do; be sure to ask for an English-speaking physician.

    If it's a bigger emergency, your best bet is probably to take a taxi to the emergency department of the German Hospital (Hospital Aleman) on Av. Pueyrredón. The emergency entrance is on the side of the hospital complex, and you'll need to follow signs for "Guardia." There is also a British Hospital (Hospital Británico) but it's a bit farther, in a less convenient part of town. I recently had to use the emergency department of the Hospital Aleman and generally was pleased with the care I got.

    A list of resources compiled by the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires can be found at
  4. davenida

    davenida Guest

    The only reason that I am an American Express Platinum member is because of the medical emergency benefit which is offered with Platinum status. It is truly remarkable. Further, AARP has a supplemental insurance plan called HealthCare Options. You have a $50,000.00 lifetime out of the country emergency benefit with this plan; and I have this, too. Anyone wishing the name of an excellent English speaking doctor in Rio can email me. Whatever you do, you do not want to go to a Brazilian public hospital. I am speaking as a medical professional.
  5. jivau3930

    jivau3930 Master

    I certainly agree about the statement regarding public/state hospitals - not as a medical professional but as a potential patient. I suffered a head, knee, and shoulder injury from a fall and I was taken to a public hospital because the two boys with me did not speak English and I could not remember the name of the hospital in Copacabana. I was in much pain but as I was pushed into the emergency room (in stainless wheel chair (the wheels moved only forward and backwary). My focus immediately shifted from my pain to thoughts about how the hell I was going to get out of there alive. I finally found a radiologist who spoke English and he told me the hospital in Copa was COPA D'OR. So we immediately boarded a taxi and away we went to Copa D'or. We arrived at the emegency enterance and were met by two men in suits, wearing white gloves. The emergency room would put any emergency room I've seen in the US to shame! The place was spotless and the decor was color-coordinated. I received immediate attention. I spent the night in the emergency room - received IV's, a CatScan, x-rays, medication, and excellent care and the total charge was R$993. So if you need a hospital or emergency room in Rio - remember COPA D'OR!